Have you ever bought rolled oats from the store and they had very little taste or a bitter taste? They lack taste because they have either been over processed or sat on the shelf for way to long. They may also become slightly rancid when they have been sitting way to long. These store bought rolled oats or flaked grains are also often void of most of their nutrition.
I love fresh rolled oats and other grains. They are full of wonderful flavor and packed with whole grain nutrition, say goodbye to the blah store bought rolled oats and flaked grains by making them fresh in your kitchen.
I have been rolling my own oats and flaking grains for about 8 years now and have learned that TWO simple things that make it MUCH BETTER.
Tip #1 Prep The Grains
When I first started I just poured the grains in the grain flaker mill and got brittle flaked oats. This worked alright but it was not what I really wanted, I wanted nice whole flaked grains that held together for use in breakfast cereals, deserts, breads, and so on… I did not want crumbs of flaked grains that easily fell apart.
To overcome this I found you need to pre-soak the grains with a little bit of water first, then the result will be real flaked grains and not flaked crumbs (see photo below to see the difference). The pre-soak with very little water makes the grain just soft enough for an effective flattening process that holds together.
Here is the Steps for Prepping Your Grains:
- Put 2 cups of grains or oat groats (or mixture of grains) in a seal-able container.
- Add 2-3 teaspoons of cold water (I use 3).
- Seal the container and shake vigorously for 15 seconds to spread the water around to all the grains.
- Let sit for 1 minute or so and shake again.
- Let the sealed container sit overnight, at least 8 hours or more.
- Now the grains are ready to be flaked.
This is probably the most important part of flaking your own grains. Not many people think to do it but it makes all the difference in grain flaking. Most commercial companies steam their oats before rolling them flat for best results.
Tip #2 The Right Grain Flaker Mill
The FGM Grain Flaker (by Family Grain Mill)
I have tried many grain flakers, expensive and cheap, and have settled on the FGM (Family Grain Mill) Grain Flaker (made in Germany). What I like most about this unit is it uses a rough roller to pull the grains through but the other side is a curved shaped flat surface (see photo to the right) that helps keep the grain from getting crushed to much so your end product is better. All of the other grain flakers use two rough rollers and do not provide as good of an end product as the FGM Grain Flaker.
Another thing I like about the FGM Grain Flaker mill is that it can be used as a kitchen mixer attachment for many brands of kitchen mixers (some require an additional attachment part) or it can be used as a hand cranked stand alone unit. I use it both ways. It fits directly on to my WonderMix Revolution Kitchen Mixer so I can roll oats and grains with no effort or when I want to be quiet I put it on the hand crank base which turns effortless to produced flaked grains (my kids like to do it this way). This hand crank base for the Family Grain Mill products is also great for preppers / off grid minded people and they have several other attachments.
How it works
Just pour the grains (preferably prepped as mentioned above) into the grain flaker’s hopper and start cranking the handle and the grains come out flatted, it is as simple as that.
Storing Freshly Flaked Grains
I have found that freshly flaked grains keep most of their flavor (and probably their nutrition) for at least a month in a sealed container at room temperature. I would not store them for more than 3 months, if used with-in 3 months you will always get a better tasting product and more nutrition than any of the store bought brands or bulk bins.
You can also put the sealed container of flaked grains in the freezer to keep them fresh and preserved for even longer.
The nice thing about whole grains is that they stay good for years and years. I buy grains in bulk and flake them or grind them into flour when I need them. I also pressure cooker the whole grains to add to recipes for a healthy filling accent to some foods. There are many grains that are gluten-free that you can flake, grind or use whole if that is needed in your diet like my wife does.
Grains I Flake
Oat Groats (whole oats), KAMUT, and Quinoa are the main grains I flake for cereals, deserts, and for adding to breads. You can also flake wheat, spelt, buckwheat, and many other grains. Some grains are too brittle such as einkorn for flaking at home.
Mix It Up
Most people just flake one kid of grain at a time, I find it best to flake a mixture of grains together. Each grain has its own certain health benefits that are sometimes more abundant in some grains than in others, for this reason I like to mix about 3 grains together to get the health benefits from all three grains in one meal.
My favorite grain mixture is 1 cup oat groats, 1/2 cup quiona, and 1/2 cup Kamut. you simply mix all the grains together before doing your pre-soak and running them through the grain flaker mill.
What Do You Do With Flaked Grains?
You can do many things with flaked grains, here are a few ideas:
- Overnight Oats
- Hot Cereal
- Add to breads
- Add to deserts and cookies
- Granola mix or bars
- Use in meatloaf
- Breakfast bars or power bars
- Add to muffins
- Add to casseroles
- Add to soups
- Apple Crumble
Overnight Oats My Favorite
My favorite thing to do with flaked grains and oats is overnight oats. There are hundreds of different recipes out there for overnight oats, which is great because if you do it the same all the time it get a bit blah so try lots of them and decide on a handful you like best. There are many reasons to do it, here is a few great articles:
- 13 Health Benefits of Overnight Oats
- Why You Should Be Eating More Overnight Oats, According To Science